Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 79.djvu/136

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it would be seen that higher and the highest organisms are just as "ultimate," just as "fundamental," as are the lower and lowest organisms, and that the whole of any organism is as "ultimate" and "fundamental" as are any of its parts.

What this means said in every-day language is that a sorely defective general theory, or philosophy of living things, is preventing the recognized leaders in biological science from having any vital interest in the actual, living plants and animals with which common observation and intelligence come in contact.

So far my point has been that we can not interpret plant and animal life broadly and soundly either in technical science or in common intelligence unless the esthetic side of our nature joins with the intellectual side in determining our attitude toward the beings we deal with. Now I want to insist that the business of truly original study is always suffused and quickened by feeling. What investigator of nature who has ever made a real discovery, however small, does not know that an element of emotion was involved? True discovery is always, it seems, proportional to the imagination put into the effort that led to it; and imagination, even partially fulfilled in actual experience, is emotional through and through. The famous story that Newton was so agitated that he had to ask a friend to write for him when he saw his calculations concerning the attraction of the earth for the moon were finally going to be confirmed by Picard's lately corrected observations on the size of the earth might easily be true, whether it is or not.

Divorce science from feeling as completely as some men of science seem to believe it ought to be divorced, and science is dead formalism. Real progress in it is at an end. Highly specialized research untouched by imagination is worse than dead, it is a birth that has never been "quickened." In it you have "science for its own sake" sure enough, for it becomes so much a thing of technique, of strange new words, and of old words with twisted meanings, that none but the esoterics can make any sense out of it, much less any practical use. Normal warmblooded human beings are not greatly attracted to a science

Where soul is dead, and feeling hath no place;
Where knowledge, ill begun in cold remark
On outward things, with formal inference ends,
Or, if the mind turn inward, 'tis perplexed,
Lost in a gloom of uninspired research.

But a practical difficulty, the question of what is possible in one short lifetime, is sure to be raised here. Does this liberal attitude toward nature, this breadth of interest and knowledge, spell its own practical if not its theoretical defeat? Does it make demands upon investigation and upon instruction of the young which can not be met because of the limited capacities of mortal beings? Does it mean